Thomas Sowell explains the principles of economics in plain jargon for the general public, answering questions like: Why are homeless people sleeping on the sidewalks of New York in the winter, when the abandoned apartment buildings have four times as many dwelling units as there are homeless people in the city? Why did Russians have to import food to feed people in Moscow, when Russia itself had vast amounts of some of the richest farmland in Europe?
Includes bibliographical references and index
What is economics? -- Prices and markets: The role of prices ; Price controls ; An overview -- Industry and commerce: The rise and fall of businesses ; The role of profits, and losses ; Big business and government ; An overview -- Work and pay: Productivity and pay ; Controlled labor markets ; An overview -- Time and risk: Investment and speculation ; Risks and insurance ; An overview -- The national economy: National output ; Money and the banking system ; Government functions ; Government finance ; An overview -- The international economy: International trade ; International transfers of wealth ; An overview -- Special economic issues: Myths about markets ; "Non-economic" values ; The history of economics ; Parting thoughts